Greeks at War

Hoplites! Greeks at War was created as part of a project called Every Soldier has a Story.

It follows a hoplite soldier (heavy infantryman) as he prepares and goes to war.

every soldier has a story

Every Soldier has a Story is a 'Communicating Ancient Greece and Rome’ project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council through The Archive for Performances of Greek and Roman Drama (www.apgrd.ox.ac.uk).

Further funding for the animation was given generously by Yana Zarifi-Sistovari of the Thiasos Theatre Company.

The project launch was kindly sponsored by the Department of Classics at the University of Reading, by the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, and by Bloomsbury Academic Publishing.

about ancient warfare and the animation

The animation depicts key aspects of the hoplite experience: training, sacrifice and departing, the build up to battle, battle, and the aftermath of battle.

Click through these slides for more detail.

Panoply’s Sonya chats about Hoplites!

Greeks at War

in an interview for Classics Confidential.



There's more about the creation of the animation in this blog post.

You can watch and read more about ancient warfare on the Combat page and in this Panoply interview with

Dr Fernando Echeverría.


vase details

A lekanis vase, made on the island of Euboea, Ure Museum 56.8.8.  Decoration features athletes training with coaches and a combat scene between onlookers.  Interior depicts a fighting cock.

Look through these slides for more detail.


The music was created by ancient theatre specialists, Thiasos Theatre Company www.thiasos.co.uk.

The dominant sound that you can hear is made by reverberating singing bowls.  You can hear music from their live performance on the Every Soldier has a Story photo-film below.

follow-up activities

The Every Soldier has a Story project included lively workshops in schools, museums, and with charities.  Lots of the artwork created in these sessions is collected in this pdf along with artwork sent in to us via the website.

You can also see more about the project exhibition celebration on our blog.

Below are some activities to try.

1) Create a character based on the vase and animation, then plan a story and storyboard about them: click on the link to download the Every Soldier has a Story activity sheet.

2) Watch the trailer and then plan what-happens-next in a storyboard.

3) Create a shield design.

4) Watch this short photo-film.  We asked people to imagine something about the life of the soldier in the Hoplites! vase animation.

Teachers, you can use this session plan and slide combination for teaching with the Hoplites! animation.

Read a Panoply interview with the museum intern who designed the Every Soldier has a Story exhibition case.

follow-up viewing

Warriors at Troy: Clash of the Dicers

A soldier departs: Well-Wishers

A short animation made from the Hoplites! vase: Combat

further reading

P. de Souza (ed.), The Ancient World at War. A Global History,

(Thames and Hudson, 2008)

S. Nevin, 'Animating Ancient Warfare: The Spectacle of War in the Panoply Vase Animations’, in War as Spectacle: Ancient and Modern Perspectives on the Display of Armed Combat. A. Bakogianni and V. Hope (eds.)

(Bloomsbury,  2015)

H. Sidebottom, Ancient Warfare, A Very Short Introduction, (OUP, 2005 )

J. Warry, Warfare in the Classical World,

(Salamander Books 1980, Oklahoma Paperbacks 2006)

H. van Wees, Greek Warfare: Myths and Realities, (Duckworth Press, 2004)

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Except where otherwise noted, content on www.panoply.org.uk by S.Simons & S.Nevin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.